Helpful articles on the benefits of House Raising, by Black & White restumping services in Brisbane, Gold and Sunshine Coasts.

What Causes Flooding in the Brisbane Area?

The thing about Brisbane that people may not realise is that it is located on a flood plain. This means that there are some areas that are prone to flooding. The Brisbane City Council and State Government bodies work to ensure that they have the infrastructure in place to minimise the harm caused by flooding, but there are no guarantees. It is for this reason that the maps of flood zones can be really helpful for people who are looking to purchase in the area. However, for those who have already settled into a home and who are looking for ways of protecting their property from the possibility of flash flooding, the avenue of house-raising can provide peace of mind. But before we go any further into solutions, let’s take a look at two of the key factors that actually cause flooding in the Brisbane area.

Excessive Rainfall in the Eastern Areas of the Country

It doesn’t take a genius to realise that the more rain that is coming down in Brisbane and its surrounding areas, the more chance there will be of flooding. Depending which catchment areas are getting all the rain at any given time will determine the amount of flooding that will occur in the Brisbane area.

Water Releasing from Wivenhoe Dam

Water releases from the Wivenhoe Dam, are done for a variety of reasons and for a variety of different and sometimes opposing purposes. One is to release pressure on the dam to maintain its structural integrity, especially during times of increased rain and flooding where it may be full to capacity. Another is to lower the water content of the dam to allow for it to have space for capturing rainfall before a flooding event, so as to mitigate the possibility of flooding occurring. Unfortunately, there can sometimes be flooding downstream in the Brisbane flood prone areas, due to the functioning of the dam.

How to Keep Your Home High and Dry

Flood waters rising can be devastating for homes and their residents. It causes expensive damage to the infrastructure of the house, as well as possessions. For some residents, the choice to raise their house is a helpful solution that assists them in several different areas. One is that their property is lifted above the possibility of being damaged by flooding. Two, their insurance costs may decrease due to the increase in the safety of their house from flooding. Three, they gain peace of mind that they are protected from future weather events.

Money Talks: How To Budget Your Way To Raising Your House

Okay, let’s talk about money. Even though it is not our forte, we are definitely in the business of raising houses at Black and White Houseraising and Restumping, and we have spoken to many clients about how they did it. If you have realised that you need to come up with the cash to raise your house, whether it is to lift it out of flood waters, or simply to make more space for yourself – your next question is probably going to be around where the money is going to come from. Good question. We have a few ideas that we can throw your way to assist you with budgeting for your renovation.

Start with a Plan

The first thing you will want to know is how much cash you are going to need to get the job done. This means working out exactly what you want to do, and then getting a quote from a professional house raising company, such as us! Once you know how much you are going to need, you can work out how much you already have, and start working towards making up the difference.

Track Your Cash Flow

Budgeting for anything means moving your current money around, using it more wisely, or getting more from somewhere. The first step we would suggest is to start tracking your cash flow, to enable you to see any areas where there could be money saved. Usually there is a lot spent on your day-to-day spending, which could be used in a more economical way to create savings for yourself. Knowing where all the money is going will help you in acquiring more savings.

Consolidate Your Debts

If you currently have a number of different debts, including a mortgage, car payments or credit card, then it might be time to consolidate them into one debt that will start producing results for you. Financial advisors call this turning bad debts into good ones, and with a little bit of know-how, and some good advice you could find yourself in a better position to pay for the renovations without too much worry.

Talk to a Financial Advisor

As professionals in our field, we appreciate the value of getting the right advice from someone who knows their business. It is for this reason that when it comes to money ‘stuff’ we cannot emphasise enough how helpful it is to talk to someone who knows the money business inside out. Find a good financial advisor in your area and talk to them about how they can help you achieve your financial goals and get your renovation started as soon as possible.

Worst Case Scenarios For How Flooding Damages Your Home

If flood events were all fun and games, riding wheelie bins through the neighbourhood and taking your dinghy to the corner shop, life would be all roses. Unfortunately, damage to homes during flood events costs Australians more than 300 million dollars every year, which is a lot of milky bars by anyone’s guess. Nobody wants to experience a flood event, especially not when it involves one’s home and all of their worldly goods.

 

They say that being prepared for the worst is the best way to avoid it happening, so knowing what areas may be affected by flooding could assist you with planning to rebuild, or refurbishing a dwelling.

 

Weakening of Structural Elements

 

Since the foundations of your house have such an important job to do, this is the area that you least want to experience the effects of flood damage. Weakening of structural elements such as your house stumps and flooring are the most likely areas to be affected by flood water, which, if left for any length of time, can severely impair their strength and longevity. Usually wooden stumps will last around 10 years before needing to be replaced but exposure to moisture, especially of the magnitude of flood waters could require them to be replaced sooner.

Damage to Electrical Elements of the House

 

Another area that can be extremely dangerous is if there is damage to the electrical system of the house. Live wires can cause the house area to become a liability and sufficient inspection and precautions should be followed before re-entering the home after a flood or weather event that may have compromised the elements. If the electrical elements of your house are too close to the ground, the likelihood of experiencing this problem is greater than if your house is raised high enough to allow for all electrical wiring to be well above the level of possible flood waters. Speak to Black and White Houseraising and Restumping about the recommended positioning for electrical wiring if you are in doubt or if you are considering raising your home to prevent flood damage.

 

Contaminated Drinking Water

 

On any given day, wherever your house may be situated, there are a lot of different fluids in the vicinity from local businesses, as well as other houses and sewerage. In the event of heavy flooding, there is a high chance that some of these contaminants will sink into groundwater where they could be flushed anywhere, including into your drinking water supply.

How to Protect Your House Stumps From Pests

The stumps of your house are a crucial part of its foundations, which means that taking measures to ensure they are protected from pests is of great importance for home owners. Pests such as termites and other borers can do a lot of damage to your foundation stumps, before you are even aware that they are residents in your home. The key to ensuring that they do not set up camp and bring in their relatives to make your life a living nightmare, involves eliminating their access to food, water and shelter.

Remove Food Sources

Termites eat wood, while many borers make their homes in wood, so removing any dead wood that you have lying around in your yard is the first step to removing their food source. Have rotten stumps removed from the garden, and keep firewood off the ground and stored far away from the house. Ensure that the soil under your house is at least six inches away from supporting beams and stumps.

Prevent Moisture

Pests love moisture, and they will thrive in any moist environment, so keeping these crucial areas of your home as dry as possible will prevent your worst nightmare from moving in to your home. Leaking pipes and taps need to be repaired as soon as possible to prevent damp from getting into wooded areas of the home. Plants, bushes and trees should be positioned away from the house where they do not allow moist areas around the house; otherwise, this will invite pests. If you do find areas where there is moisture or damp in parts of the house, these need to be repaired or replaced as soon as possible. Adequate ventilation will also ensure that moisture does not build up in these areas.

Make Regular Inspections

Most house stumps are treated to prevent pests, but over long periods of time the treatment can become less effective and they may show signs of infestation, or weathering from the elements. They should be checked regularly to ensure that they do not need to be changed. Full pest inspections every six months, followed by a regular pest control routine, will assist in keeping your home free from creepy crawlies that want to eat your foundations.

If you suspect that your house stumps may already be under attack, contact our experts at Black & White Houseraising & Restumping for an inspection and advice on how best to fix the situation.

Effects of Climate Change on Your Home’s Structure

Although we do have some climate change deniers amongst us, the majority consensus is that the weather is changing, a lot. In every country in the world, we are seeing the impacts of this in different areas, with increased rainfall in some cases, and more droughts in others. In essence, the weather has become somewhat more unpredictable than it was before, and the long-term effects of climate change are yet to be experienced or understood. It makes sense to do your research and prepare for whatever may be coming, as we really do not have any idea about what is around the next corner.

Changing Flood Risks

One of the areas where climate change can make a real impact is with the changing flood risks associated with increased rainfall over a short period of time. Often, this can lead to flash flooding which pushes water off its regular course, and can lead to flooding in places where it is not expected.

Protecting your home against the possibility of changing water courses will assist you in reducing the damage that can be caused by flash flooding. One way to do this is to have your home raised above the potential flood waters long before the impacts of climate change are seen to their full extent. This needs to be done by a professional such as Black and White Houseraising and Restumping, to ensure that all aspects of the work are done correctly.

Damage Caused by Shifting Foundations

The changes to water courses and shifting ground could impact the foundations of your home, causing untold damage to walls, pipes and other areas. Often, the issues with foundations shifting can cause cracks in walls and pipes as well as uneven flooring and other safety issues. Raising your home is another way to ensure that your home is kept high and dry from the risks associated with these environmental changes.

Weakening of Structural Elements

Increased winds are another issue that can impact on the structure of your home due to climate change. This can lead to weakening of its structure, making it lose its structural integrity and possibly causing it to become a dangerous place to be. Regular inspections, especially following high intensity weather events will assist you in repairing damaged areas and keep your home safe. Newer homes are often built with stronger materials in order to make them stronger and able to withstand the weather events that can often accompany climate change.

Tips for Protecting Your Home From Flooding

Whether you are in a flood prone area or not, flash flooding can occur at any time. It can cause a lot of costly damage to your home, as well as your belongings. Being prepared and planning for possible flood events can assist you in protecting your home from damage caused by flooding to avoid costly repairs and to give you extra peace of mind.

Determine Water Flow

In the best case scenario, the house will have been built with drainage that accommodates water flowing away from the house. Determining how water flows around your house will assist you in planning your drainage around the home to angle water to move away from the house. In the case that your street accumulates a lot of standing water even after small storms, it might be a good idea to talk to your local council about suggestions for combating the situation for the whole street.

Retrofit Your Home

If you are finding that your home floods regularly and you are unable to move, there are a few measures that can be taken if you are prepared to invest some cash. If your home is designed to be able to be raised up then this is the best option, but it could take a bit of work. You will need to find a good house raising company such as Black and White Houseraising and Restumping, which employs professional staff to do the work. Other options include wet-proofing your home by installing foundation vents that allow water to flow through the building. Additionally, dry proofing by sealing walls with specific waterproof coatings is another option.

Raise Electrical Circuitry

For homes that cannot be raised out of flood water levels, taking measures to protect electrical circuitry will prevent some costly repairs. Have switches, breakers and wiring high on walls so that if there does happen to be flooding they will not be damaged.

Ensure Outdoor Equipment is Raised and Anchored

Outdoor machinery and equipment such as air conditioning machines, fuel tanks and generators should be fitted at a raised position and anchored into place. Anchoring these items will prevent them from breaking free and from being lost in flood waters, should the waters get especially high.

Modify Water Valves

Modifying water valves will prevent sewerage from flowing back into the house in the event of a flooded sewer system. These sealing valves are fitted to the pipes entering the house to prevent flooding of the pipes.

What Is the Correct Equipment for Restumping?

There is a Russian proverb that says “If you don’t have time to do things right, you must have time to do it over”. When it comes to restumping a house there is no room for error, and often the margin for doing things over is very, very small, since the stability of the house depends upon getting it right the first time. It is for this reason that having the correct equipment for the job is as important as the professionalism and expertise of the person who will be doing the restumping. Because it is such an important part of the house, getting the right person to do the job is definitely worth researching to ensure that you don’t get any nasty surprises down the track.

Stumps and Pads

The choice of stumps will vary depending where in Australia you live. In Victoria, many houses are restumped with rot-resistant Victorian Redgum, which is slightly cheaper than concrete but will only last up to 20 years before it needs to be replaced. For many homes throughout Australia, concrete stumps are a popular choice, which are secured to both the floor frame and at ground level.

In Queensland, some houses also use Copper Chrome Arsenate treated pine, which is an effective stump for withstanding many of the factors that corrode the stumps. In some cases, pads are used as well but this is not always the case. Galvanised steel stumps are another popular option that is available for restumping or raising a house.

Ant Caps

Ant caps or stump caps are put in between the stump and the house to prevent termites from entering the flooring of the house above, if they do happen to get into the stumps. They are an extra defence against the wood chewing menaces that cause havoc for homes across Australia.

Anchor Bolts

In areas where the house is subject to high wind conditions, anchor bolts are usually attached to each corner of the house, around the perimeter at a distance of approximately every four metres and also under bracing walls.

Structural Beams

These are steel beams that are put in place when the area underneath the house is going to be used as a living space or as an undercover car park. They provide extra support between the beams of the house.

Jacks

An important part of the restumping process is the jacks that raise the house up and holds it there while the stumps are being replaced. Experienced, quality restumping companies such as Black and White Houseraising and Restumping use an advanced hydraulic jacking system to lift the house safely from its foundations. This reduces the possibility of human error as the house is held at the intended height.

For more information about the process, contact Black and White Houseraising and Restumping and we can come to you to assess what is needed and how to best achieve results that last.

How To Create A Flood-Free Property

While it would be lovely to imagine that we could choose not to live in a flood prone property, with the booming population and shortage of available land in the areas that we want to live, often this can be unavoidable. In the event that you may need to live somewhere where there has been previous flooding there are ways of reducing the impact of possible flood events and using some careful planning to create a flood-free property.

Risk Assessment

The first thing that you will need to do is have a risk assessment of actually how flood prone the property is, and what is the probable flood depth that may put the house at risk. Knowing what level the risk of flood may be can be helpful to determine how to best tackle making your house flood free. Should the possible flood risk to the house be more than 500mm, the best option might be not to plan for how to keep the water out when it does rise, but to use materials that will dry out quickly following the flood event.

Build High or Raise Your House

Another option for keeping your house safe from possible flood waters is to build it high above the predicted flood levels, on stilts made from treated hardwood or galvanised steel posts. If you have already purchased a property and have a house on it but have discovered that it is prone to flooding, in some cases, it can make sense to have the house raised. In terms of weighing up the possible cost of replacing flood damaged personal belongings, measured against the cost of raising your house, peace of mind is worth its weight in gold. Be sure to speak to a professional house company such as Black and White Houseraising and Restumping, for an assessment about what would work best for you.

Drainage and Planning

Adequate drainage and planning is needed for creating a flood-free property to live on. Using permaculture principles can be of great assistance during planning as you will be able to utilise the lay of the land to get the most out of your property. The use of different materials can have an impact on how well your property copes during a flood event, so be sure to seek professional advice before getting your property development underway.

Benefits of Raising and Restumping

As the poem goes, “Australia is a land of drought and flooding rains”, and lately more than ever it’s the flooding rains that are prevailing in our nightly weather forecasts. Cast your eyes over the people on the streets in news stories and you will see a colourful sea of umbrellas in their hands as they hurry to get out of the rain. Everywhere you hear the expression, ‘when will this rain stop?’ tumbling from the lips of the populace. When you think about it we really have had more than our fair share, tanks and dams are full and overflowing and it seems more flooding is not far away.

House raising Brisbane in flood prone areas is being carried out on such a regular basis that it is becoming more the norm than an occasional event. So many people are mourning not only the loss of loved ones, but also the loss of precious memorabilia that cannot be replaced. Treasured photos cannot be restored even if they can be found so the only images we have are held in our minds, to fade as we age. Happily, much of this will be prevented from occurring in the future with houses being raised above flood levels at heights that were not permitted by councils in pre flood times.

Restumping Damaged House Stumps

Restumping Brisbane is something else that has been happening more than before due to termite infestations and stumps that have moved due to water inundation, not only in flood areas, but under high homes on slopes where water has rushed underneath during teeming downpours. This is more common in older homes that have been standing on the same stumps for centuries, but can happen in others.

Restumping resets the new stumps  into an upright position, and keeps the floorboards even inside the home. Many people in termite prone areas are opting to restump with concrete stumps to raise the odds in their favour against infestation. This is definitely a worthwhile exercise for the peace of mind it offers, and the stumps will last a lifetime.

Benefits of House Raising

The benefits of house raising are flood proofing, giving the best possible chances of no loss of life or assets, cooler temperatures inside the home, better breeze catching being higher, and it is also said that walking up and down stairs is not only good exercise but great for a healthy heart. By restumping, you benefit from safe and even floorboards in the home, and less risk of being infested by termites when using concrete stumps. Another benefit of raising a home is being able to build a granny flat underneath later.

 

Raise your Home and Protect your Assets

Protecting photos and other personal possessions is important. A lot of what we own comes with sentimental attachment, not just financial value. With the recent flooding throughout Queensland, a lot of homes went underwater causing a lot of destruction and loss of property. Although homes would have been covered under insurance, there are things such as photos that can never be replaced and that can be heartbreaking.

Benefits of House Raising

Whether your home has been under in the floods or you just need to replace stumps, there are many benefits of house raising. Protecting your assets from floodwaters  is just one of them. Other benefits  include strengthening your foundations, replacing wooden stumps with concrete stumps which are stronger and not in danger from termites as well as realigning your structure. It is important to get the professionals in to do the job for you. It is a very specialized field and requires specialized equipment in order to carry out the job.

Get Professionals Instead of Going DIY

If you do the job yourself without the proper training or equipment, then you risk causing instability and damage to the property. This in the long run will cost more to fix so why not get the professionals in  right from the start. Restumping can be dangerous without the proper knowledge and equipment. House raising professionals have all the equipment as well as many years experience and training. The smart thing to do is hire them to make sure the job is done properly. Isn’t it better then risking damage to your home and perhaps even to you?

If you require the services of a professional house raising company, then be sure to check online to find the best company for your needs. House raising and restumping is important, especially after flooding. Re-stabilize your home today by having your stumps redone.